OPEN HEART: A Patient's Story of Life-Saving Medicine and Life-Giving Friendship

Jay Neugeboren, Author . Houghton Mifflin $24 (371p) ISBN 978-0-618-11211-1

Neugeboren, a 60-year-old writer (Imagining Robert), had assumed that he was in great physical shape without risk factors for heart disease. When he experienced shortness of breath and pain between his shoulder blades, these symptoms did not alarm his personal physician. However, after several lengthy cross-country telephone conversations with Rich, a Brooklyn high school friend and cardiologist living in California, it became clear that Neugeboren had a serious coronary disease and Rich insisted that he be hospitalized immediately. With the help of three other high school buddies, Jerry, Arthur and Phil, all prominent physicians, Rich guided Neugeboren through the process of bypass surgery, performed in the nick of time. In addition to his successful operation, Neugeboren credits the support and love he received from these four men with saving his life. This well-crafted and expressive memoir recounts the extensive conversations Neugeboren held separately with his physician friends after he recovered. Deeply committed and working in different fields of medicine, these doctors describe the frustrations inherent in managed care that cause them to rely so heavily on technology and testing rather than spending time listening to and learning from their patients. In the end, Neugeboren, convinced that the patient will provide the diagnosis if the doctor listens, presents a thoughtful rumination on the art of diagnosis and healing. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 04/28/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Open Ebook - 168 pages - 978-1-941088-44-9
Ebook - 370 pages - 978-1-4976-6944-4
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